Meandarra Bowls Club was sat on the precipice of closure but has turned itself around into a bustling country club.
Only a couple of years ago Meandarra Bowls Club was sat on the precipice of closure which had coincided with the decline of the small country town which had at one-time been a booming agricultural hub.
While the town’s main industry is still is agriculture the population has declined to less than 200 people which led to the bowls club’s membership base dwindling to just a couple of members.
“If you talk to some of the older members of the club they’ll tell you that at one point it was hard to even get a game as the club was that busy,” Meandarra’s games director Merv Slack said.
“As time went on though, the town slid into a bit of a decline with people leaving due to the rising cost of living and businesses finding it harder to turn a profit.
“It looked as if the club was going to be finished.”
Luckily for Meandarra, there was a renewed sense of interest in the club with a few of the younger inhabitants of the town visiting the club to play.
“There was a lot of people in the town who didn’t want to see the town lose the club,” treasurer Kate McDonald said.
“We decided to work at getting some grants and trying to update the club as much as we could with our limited budget.
“We updated the facilities a bit by installing a new cool room, an EFTPOS system which has helped boost sales, as well as new blinds and a fresh coat of paint to name just a few bits of work.
“Everyone who works at the club is a volunteer and they do a great job, our greens have gone from being practically dust to a great playing surface.”
The injection of renewed interest in the club has helped turn the club around, so much so that the club now has its first pennant team in over 20 years.
The small committee of dedicated volunteers have single-handedly turned the club into a thriving centre of bowls in country Queensland.
“We now have grey haired nomads who often travel through and stop off at the club, a number of whom have been repeat visitors,” McDonald said.
“The club’s transformation has been down to the consistently hard-working volunteers.”
The club now holds regular social days and events throughout the week which brings people not only to the greens for a game of bowls but to the bar as well which has helped sustain the club’s momentum.
Meandarra now focuses more on social functions and thinks of itself as a family-friendly community hub, this has allowed it to maintain its bowling operation.
“It’s a great community club which has been a part of the club for nearly 60 years,” Merv said.
“It looks like we’re on track to keep it that way now.”
Meandarra will celebrate its 60th anniversary on and the club has extended an open invite to bowlers who want to take part in the celebrations.
The anniversary weekend will feature a social day of bowls followed by a day of competitive bowls, a meal and live entertainment.